A thorough spring cleaning gets your house sparkling, but it's not without hazards.
Follow these spring-cleaning tips to avoid starting the season off on a broken foot:
- Clear the clutter: Before you start cleaning, pick up any stray objects that you could trip over.
- Follow instructions: If the label on the cleaning product recommends wearing gloves or a mask, there's good reason for it. Gather the proper supplies before you start scrubbing.
- Go mild: Only use hazardous cleaning agents such as ammonia and bleach when absolutely necessary. And never mix the two — you could create a toxic gas.
- Ventilate: Even if it's chilly outside, open windows to circulate fresh air and help prevent chemical or allergic reactions.
- Think green: Use homemade or green cleaners to help reduce your exposure to toxic cleaning chemicals. Consumer Reports recommends shopping for products with verified labels, such as Certified Biodegradable, Design for the Environment, Greenguard, and Green Seal.
- Keep cleaning products out of reach: Make sure kids and pets can't get access to them.
- Be careful with the bucket: Even a couple inches of water can be a drowning risk for small children. Keep filled mop buckets away from kids. Store buckets empty and upside down.
- Tread lightly: Walk carefully on just-mopped floors or steer clear until they're completely dry.
- Climb with care: If you need to use a ladder, ask someone to hold it. Avoid leaning too far to one side.
- Lift carefully: Moving furniture? Reference these helpful guidelines from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Ask for help with large objects.